A couple comments on the article or really the second paragraph.
Is Hoka on the board at other brands? - A resounding yes, they are. There are two brands mentioned that are simply copying the thick midsole that Hoka has. All the other brands are looking at the benefit to the runners and putting engineers to the task of figuring it out. Iâ€™ve consulted on one of the brands. If you look closely at their product coming out they are fully addressing some of the aspects of Hoka that are resounding benefits to the runner. One of the really big brands is putting the squeeze on potential growth for Hoka. From My view of running shoes I can see it happening and it started over a year ago. Hoka is growing so itâ€™s even hard for them to see. But I can see where a runner who might have bought Hoka is not and is going with this particular brand.
Triathletes a reflection of the total running market - Iâ€™m not sure what you are looking at Dan. I think it would be a good discussion in Kona this year. My view or my work shows a completely different picture.
From this dscussion.
Brands - Boil it all down, a brand is a business. Hoka One One is a small business within a portfolio of brands. It has been set up to be one of the growth business for the parent company. In other words Hoka One One needs to be the major growth for the big company. There are many options for a brand to grow. There is a distribution plan at the brand and part of the distribution plan is growing overall business with current retail partners. To do that Hoka wantâ€™s to be a bigger piece of the running shoe wall. There is only so much growth with a current retailer through building a better Clifton. They have to do that but they need more of the shoe wall to really generate better growth. No different than any other brand of running shoes.
i don't mind hoka becoming more than just a tech shoe brand. my concern is when it ceases to any longer perform its niche functions. and, i'm not saying it's failing at that.
for example, there's one shoe it makes that never, ever, ever, ever goes on sale. they can't make enough of these. it's the tor ultra hi wp. that shoe kills it. and it's not a running shoe. hoka could kill it in the service sector: shoes for postal deliverers, restaurant service workers, and if you'll note you'll see the bondo and gaviota in leather, in black and white colors. i'm all for that!
as well as i can tell, hoka is, what, a $175mm brand? and this is just a raw guess. i don't know. whatever size it is, it's that size as a pure tech running brand, with (last i heard) most if its distribution in north america. so, with all respect to nike pointing to $50bb, adidas at $30bb, NB at $4bb, brookshire hathaway at, what, $2bb?, asics @ $1bb? what do these companies do, in tech running, in the US? not boat shoes. not skateboard shoes. not disco shoes. hoka isn't making any money selling 1970s remakes to japanese hipsters, because it wasn't around then. if you just look at what's checking at the cash register in tech running
, in the US
, hoka can see brooks, asics, saucony, nike in the distance. it can see the lead vehicle.
but it didn't get to this place by doing what brooks is doing. it got to this place by doing precisely what brooks isn't doing. being brooks is what it shouldn't do. brooks needs to be hoka, not the other way around.
that said, let's talk about it in kona. i need to know what you know.